Sited on approximately 2.5 acres, the $6 million children’s at the Houston Zoological Gardens features animals of six major habitats of Texas –the Forest, the Coast, the Prairie, the Desert, the Farm and the City. Up close viewing of and interaction with animals in a stimulating environment combine with challenging interactive activities to create an engaging, educational experience. Each habitat has been designed to convey the essence of that environment and allows children surprise views of the animals from many vantage points.
Children can cross a rope bridge through the forest tree-tops, snuggle in oversized hermit crab shells, crawl through tunnels to see prairie dogs eye-to-eye, explore a darkened bat cave and play with goats in a barnyard.
Two areas have been designed for outdoor shows and demonstrations. The Butterfly Pavilion in the City features a stage and seating area covered by a butterfly-shaped canopy. The Arena at the barnyard provides amphitheater seating around a paddock displaying livestock. A sail anchored to the boat in the Coast exhibit shades both the seating and the paddock.
Lauren Griffith Associates designed the Children’s Zoo in association with Ray Bailey Architects, providing programming, design, construction documents, and construction administration services for the project. LGA was responsible for the site plan, containment, interpretive elements, hardscape and planting design.
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